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Coronavirus has brought the world to a halt as scientists around the globe are in a race against time to develop a vaccine or cure for the pandemic. The rapid spread of the virus with its increasing death rate has been a cause for major concern as there is no cure yet, medical care is only directed at treating the symptoms which include fever, sore throat and shortness of breath. As there is no cure or vaccine in sight, major attempts are aimed at mitigating transmission.
What is a vaccine?
A vaccine is a type of treatment aimed at stimulating the body’s immune system to fight against infectious pathogens, like bacteria and viruses. The human body has a natural defense system composed of different types of white blood cells that can detect and destroy foreign bodies through various defense mechanisms. Vaccines contain antigens which stimulate the immune response from the body to help fight the future occurrence of the specific virus to be treated. Vaccines still remain one of the most effective ways of preventing diseases.
Scientists revealed that despite research discoveries around the world stating that they found vaccines that have proven effective against coronavirus, it would take 18 months before these vaccines are available as they have to undergo several clinical trials to determine their safety and efficacy before they can be approved for human use and even after being approved, it will take some time to produce mass quantities enough to serve for the entire populace.
How COVID-19 is being treated?
Hospitals treat coronavirus patients by treating the symptoms being experienced by the patient. Antibiotics won’t work because the disease is caused by a virus, not bacteria. There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, although experimental antiviral drugs like remdesivir and favipiravir showing encouraging results in treatment. Chloroquine has also been suggested by various studies to show improvements in COVID-19 patients but neither of these drugs has been officially approved as there are still ongoing debates concerning their effectiveness. The best way to treat coronavirus still remains prevention.
NCDC admonishes us to maintain social distancing, wash hands regularly or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and practice good respiratory hygiene as we continue the fight to win this pandemic war.